Summit High girls win slalom title at Colorado state championship
Tiger sophomore Olyvia Snyder wins individual slalom title
FRISCO — What a Friday for the Summit High School Alpine skiing program.
After local top club skiers — including sophomore Olyvia Snyder — opted to ski at this year’s Colorado High School Ski League state championship rather than rest up before and after major club competitions, the Tiger girls dominated at Beaver Creek Friday. On a fast slalom course under pristine clear-sky conditions, Summit’s girls took home five top-15 places, racing to first-, sixth-, seventh-, 11th- and 14th-place finishes and winning the state championship slalom competition.
“Our girls are awesome,” head coach Karl Barth said. “…Way back in the early 2000s we had a group that was kind of like this group — bunch of young kids that came up and stamped their mark for a bit. This reminds me of that team.”
The Tigers were paced on Friday by Snyder, who chose to race with her high school teammates and friends on Friday after racing back and recovering from a 15th-place finish for Team Summit on Thursday at the International Ski Federation slalom competition at Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah.
All season long the accomplished Team Summit skier struggled to put down two full slalom runs in her high school races, unable to officially qualify for states until two weeks ago when she won the Loveland Valley slalom competition. Snyder followed that up on Friday with a first run time of 40.26 seconds and a blazing second run time of 41.86 to post a combined official time of 1:22.12. Her time was nearly a half-second faster than runner-up Berit Frischholz (1:22.61), a senior racing on her home hill at Beaver Creek.
“She had an awesome second run,” Barth said of Snyder. “But for her and the older girls, probably the team victory meant just as much if not more. They were having a lot of fun at the bottom. And I think a lot of the girls have struggled to put together two good runs consistently this season. Olyvia skied four slaloms this year, won two and didn’t finish the other two. Camille (Thompson) hadn’t put together two runs all year, and today she decided would be a good day to do it. Jenna (Sheldon) is skiing on a bad wheel and took third on her second run, which was awesome, to move up to sixth. It was definitely a group effort.”
After mastering the Beaver Creek slalom course — which Barth said had great visibility over the pitch and a good, hard underfoot — Snyder was joined in the state slalom championship top-10 by the fellow Summit sophomore speedster Sheldon (sixth place, 41.83, 42.34, 1:24.17) and junior Thompson (seventh place, 41.58, 43.02, 1:24.60). Those three top times earned the Tigers their 169 total team points to run away with the slalom competition, over runner-up Aspen (157).
It didn’t stop at seventh place for the Tigers. Sophomore Paige Petersen raced to 11th place with a total combined time of 1:25.52 while senior Abby Schierholz’s time of 1:27.74 earned her 14th place. In a sign of Summit’s depth on Friday, no other school had more than two skiers finish in the top 15 while Summit had five.
With their slalom results, combined with their giant slalom showing from the day prior, Summit was the second-best girls team in the overall Alpine ski competition at state, finishing not too far behind Aspen. In giant slalom, Summit finished in third place — just a point behind runner-up Evergreen — powered by a trio of top-15 finishes. Petersen led the way, her combined time of 2:18.80 earning her ninth place. That earned the team 53 points which combined with 51 points from Thompson (2:20.15) and 49 points from Schierholz (2:20.96) for Summit’s total of 153.
As for the Tiger boys, Summit freshman Michael Cheek raced to the best individual finish of any Summit skier on Thursday, with his sixth-place time of 2:15.08. Cheek contributed 55 points for the boys team in the giant slalom competition with that run, which combined with 39 points from sophomore Gavin Masters (36th place, 2:24.49) and 33 points from River Mentch (63rd place, 2:32.165) to give the boys a seventh-place showing out of 13 teams.
In Friday’s slalom competition the boys finished sixth as a team (139 points) thanks to another sixth-place finish by Cheek (1:23.78). The boys had a stronger supporting cast behind him on Friday, with senior Sully Wheeler capping his career with a 23rd place time of 1:30.99 and senior leader River Mentch skiing for the last time as a Tiger to a 27th-place time of 1:32.81.
In the Nordic competitions, the Tigers’ best finishes were eighth place as a team in both the 5-kilometer girls skate and in the 5K boys classic. The Tigers were powered to that eighth-place finish in the 5K girls skate by Aubree Confer’s impressive seventh-place finish in the race, with a time of 15:36.8.
Summit’s other top finishers in the girls 5K skate were Katherine Puc (36th, 18:01.5) and Paige Wescott (46th, 18:36.2) while in their ninth-place finish in the girls 5K classic Confer led the way again (17th, 19:20.2), followed by Puc (32nd, 20:52.6) and Wescott (56th, 23:40.2).
The Tigers’ eighth-place showing in the 5K boys classic was led by Evan Callahan’s 38th-place time of 17:40.9, followed by Jonah Mocatta (43rd, 18:04.1) and Liam Goettelman (44th, 18:07.6) In the 5K boys skate, Summit skied to ninth thanks to top finishes from Mocatta (34th, 14:38.0), Callahan (41st, 14:54.5) and Christian Skowron (50th, 15:20.8).
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